Japan has made Moe Anthropomorphism kind of popular, under this term you understand the very concept of rendering non-human objects as cute girls or boys, a concept that ran around the world. Even today it just keeps on giving, in January this year Toyota advertised their Prius by taking it apart and personifying the parts of the car as anime girls which was kind of pretty awesome. Nekopara, which is almost a franchise at this point, made with Chocola and Vanilla two catgirls for the eternity and not to mention the incredible phenomenon of Kantai Collection which represented (mostly the japanese) marine force of World War II as anime girls.
This Moe Anthropomorphism wave also swept over to other countries. In the U.S. a successful Kickstarter campaign for the game Victory Belles finished, a game which takes over the concept of Kantai Collection, with a more western approach, not only from the Artstyle but also from the ships, as Kantai Collection’s fleet basically, except for a few exceptions, really consisted of only japanese Ships.
But Victory Belles is not what I want to talk about today, China has also been caught in this phenomenon and the developers of “What’s Up Labs” in 2015 thought, that they would also use this concept to make the mobile game Panzer Waltz.
If you can not tell by the name or the picture, Panzer Waltz uses the concept of Moe Anthropomorphism on tanks of World War II. And with a general fascination for war machinery, especially for tanks and a similar fascination for Moe
Antrophor- Antophro…Moe Anthropomorphism, God I hate this word, I took a look into the game.
Now, this is going to be a big blogpost, so we will go through the game in the following Structure:
- Story and Progression
- Combat Gameplay
- How to get new Tanks
- Your Base and Resources
- My Personal Opinion on Panzer Waltz
Now then, let’s dive into tankgirl hell~
Story and Progression
The story is set in an alternate Universe where Bavaria (basically the equivalent of this universe to Nazi germany) started developing so-called Beasttanks, a mixture between animals and military armament. However, after a number of accidents and other countries adapting this technology, the Beasttanks suddenly started to revolt and ran amok, killing countless people. A countermeasure against those Beast was needed and so the concept of “Metal Maidens” was born, a mixture between humans (mostly girls… only girls) and Military Armament.
The story begins with you getting rescued by Zoe Sherman (a Sherman MK IV), and you get introduced to the combat mechanics. I will discuss those later on in “Combat Gameplay”, first let’s take a look at how you can progress through the game:
At the beginning you’re presented with eiter Story, Clash or Event (Raid will be also available,but very late in the game).
- Story is basically the main campaign + some Special missions where you can farm materials as well as Blueprints, both needed for researching Tech and Tanks! Entering those missions requires “Petrol” which refills automatically over depending on the Level of your HQ. It also completely refills when you gain a Commander Rank.
- Clash is a PvP Mode where you can attack other players. There is massive amounts of Silver waiting there, even when you lose, you can still get around 10k-20k Silver with one Match.so it is definitely worth going into that.There is also no real deficit in losing those encounters, only thing you’re losing are rank points! Going into clashes requires “Diesel” which refills automatically. You gain a buff in Diesel Production when you successfully defend yourself from another attack.
- Event consist of special missions that can give you certain materials, entering those also requires Petrol. It is also the only place where you can farm “Dogtags”, which are needed for Researching Event tanks.
The Story consist of a maximum of 24 Volumes with 4 Missions each. Missions play out as a series of fights, usually 3, at the fourth mission of every Volume as well as the Special Missions, 5-6 fights. After every fight the HP of your tanks is recovered. However, entering a Mission drains Stamina from your girls (which can be refilled with G-Milk [insert perverted joke here] or automatically). If your tanks get heavily damaged or even disabled, it will drain more Stamina from them. If during a fight a tank loses so much stamina that it is entirely depleted, she can not take part in the next fight.
When you go through the Story, the Story naturally progresses, and the dialogues will tell you the Story of Panzer Waltz. To be honest, I find the story surprisingly good, the concept of Metal Maidens as well as the Beasttanks have the one or another surprise ready for you and can get you pretty interested in the story and how it works out. However, the story has not finished translating yet, at Volume 13 you will encounter a premature ending, and in the next volume, you will go through the missions without Storytelling, which is kind of sad.
In Clash, you can basically lose nothing except for rank points for the PvP Ranks. The more points (in the game “Medals”) you have the tougher the Players you’re fighting against. The stamina of your tanks only get drained when they’re heavily damaged or taken out. As already mentioned though, lots of Silver is waiting there and you can not lose anything really, so make sure to use Clash as often as possible!
When you gain levels or in this game “Commander Ranks” as well as progress through the story, you will unlock various stuff. More buildings for your base, and new functions such as upgrading and Promoting your tanks. This is mostly well timed, that means, when you unlock Promoting, there is a high chance that none of your tanks have the required level for that. However, some functions have a cap which I do not really understand.
This is only a minor complaint, but it still is kind of annoying that I have to tap on each tank individually to check their equipment.
I think you can see already that there is a lot of things that you will have to look out for in this game. Now, let’s take a look at how the combat works.
Similar to Kantai Collection, the Combat in Panzer Waltz has the player only in the spectator position while the battle plays out on its own or in other words: The player can not actively influence the battle. The combat consists of roughly 3 phases, Shelling > Contact > Close Quarter Battle (CQB) with the two frontlines getting closer with each phase. The order in which the tanks attack depend on different stats in each phase. Range determines the Firing Order in the Shelling Phase where the tanks also attack in two waves (first through Scouting, where Stealth and Detection determine who gets to fire in the first wave!), while Targeting determines the Firing Order in the Contact Phase.In CQB, it is the Evasion Stat which determines Firing order, available Infantry will attack in the early stage of this Phase.
The Terrain determines the Range in which the 3 Phases are set (as well as buffs and debuffs for the tanks, which depend on their chassis and engine). For example on the “Rocky Streets” the Shelling Stage starts at already 500 Meters, while the “Snow Valley” has its CQB at 800 Meters, which is quite the difference, not only from the numbers, but also on how this influences the battle. Self Propelled Guns, who usually act on higher ranges for example take a penalty in their Targeting when they get too close, so a territory like the Rocky Streets makes them a factor that will drag the performance of your entire squad down if you don’t pay attention. The penalty can be compensated for (or at least is less), if you get her ammunition that works better on closer range for example or switch her out with a tank that acts better on this territory.
At this point, you should have noticed, even though the player can not actively take part in the battles, there are a lot of passive ways in which he can get involved in it. This begins from the set up of your squad and what kind of tanks you are using. There are 6 different kinds of tanks in Panzer Waltz :
- Heavy Tanks (HT) are generally very beefy tanks, they can endure a lot and have high armor stats with mostly moderate firepower. Very practical as meatshields who absorb a lot of damage to let tanks who have higher Firepower and Penetration have an hopefully easier time surviving the battle
- Medium Tanks (MT) are all-rounders, They can do pretty much everything to a good extent, but don’t specialise in those. For example, no Medium can be as great as a Meatshield than a Heavy Tank, but could serve as a secondary meatshield, if you have only one HT which is not able endure the shots of the enemies enough.
- Light Tanks (LT) are more meant for scouting and act more stealthy, they are generally less likely to get attacked than a Medium or a Heavy. However, while having a solid Firepower, they suffer from low range as well as low armor and get taken out rather quickly if they get targeted, which can get compensated through their naturally high Evasion Stat.
- Self-Propelled Guns (SPG) are your Artillery, they have enormous Firepower and can act over high Ranges, while most other tanks have a maximum range of 2000. However, Self-Propelled Guns are less armored and take a penalty in their Targeting Stats when they get too close.
- Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) aka those little fuckers who constantly evade your shots. They can be used as scouts and can have, depending on your equipment, a ridiculously high Evasion Stat that especially pays off in closer Ranges. Similar to LT’s, they suffer from low range and low armor, but that is compensated through the ability to carry more infantry than other tanks that are additionally better protected.
- Anti-Tank Guns (ATG) are your best friends when you just are not able to penetrate that fucking Lvl 90 HT. Their usually rather high Penetration Stat is perfect for the thick armor from Heavy Tanks, but it comes with a rather low Targeting Stat, which means, if you’re up with only ATG’s against LAV’s, ideally at a very close range, the LAV’s will laugh in your face while dodging all your shots, then nuke you with Infantry.
However, this is only the basis. In fact, there are a lot more things that influence the combat, let’s take a look at an individual tank.
Let’s take this tank here as an example, I already mentioned that there are various ways to equip tanks:
- Green: Stats of your Tank, From left to right: Firepower, Penetration, Targeting, Durability (Max HP), Armor, Evasion, Stealth, Detection, Range
- Red: Those are Equipment Slots, there a verious type of Slots (marked by the symbol to the lower left) that can be used for a lot of different equipment on different levels (marked on the top right), which influence the stats and sometimes give some additional bonuses. For this example from left to right: Counterrecoil (raises Firepower and Targeting), Reactive Armor (Raises Armor and has the ability to absorb damage), Armor Plate (Raises Armor), Spall Liner (Raises Armor and Durability in Exchange for Stealth) and Cushions (Raise Durability and can absorb damage).
- Yellow: Those are Slots for Engine, Armor, Chassis and Manual. All except the Manual can be equipped with its own type of upgrade that has to be researched first. “Manual” is more a general upgrade, that affects all of your tanks.
- Blue: The Ammo this tank uses. There are seven different Ammotypes, each with their own purpose and functionality. However, each tank can only use a limited number of Ammotypes, this Tiger Early Henschel in the picture for example can use 3 Ammotypes while for example the Jagdpanzer IV Alkett can only use one.
All those different types of Influencing Stats give you the possibility to influence the combat so much, that you can pretty much passively control the fight.
Let’s take this tank from above for example, Tiger Early Henschel, an HT. It has an Equipment Type that reduces her Stealth in Exchange for Armor and Durability. Lower Stealth means, that it has a higher chance of getting attacked by other tanks.You should already know where this is going. I’m drawing the attention of the enemy to the Tiger, so other tanks who are less armored have a better time surviving the battle.
This is one of the greatest things about Panzer Waltz, the battles don’t play out as if two unorganised army clash into each other, you can always see when something goes wrong and in most of the cases, after looking in the statistic of the battles you can also pinpoint why. You can include a certain strategy within your squad, setting up your Meatshield(s) and Damage Dealer in a certain way, I for example have 2 HT as Meatshields and 2 SPG (+1 ATG) as Damage Dealer and one LAV to nuke the enemy during the Close Quarter Battle Phase. This can work excellent, but can be countered. On the Rocket Street Area (Range: 500m-50m), I once met a squad which was almost entirely set up of LAV’s…. (back then I did not have an LAV but a LT)
I barely had the feeling that a Random Number Generator decided the outcome of these matches, and even tho I was incredibly pissed at the result from picture above, I didn’t took me long to realize what happened. The combat really does noticably follow the stats of the tanks and this makes these battles very inteteresting!
Now, let’s take a look at what happens outside of the Combat Gameplay.
How to get New Tanks
Now, What is happening outside equipping and fighting in the game? First, you need a way to obtain different tanks. There are 4 ways in which you can get new tanks: Drops from Storymissions, Forge, BWMG and Research & Development.
You can have each tank only once, if you get the same tank again, you’ll only get an “Attire” which you can use to Enhance tanks you already have.
There are 3 rarities in which the tanks come, from common to rare: Blue, Purple, Gold. The rarer the tank, the more equipment you have and the higher is the Level Cap. Purple and Gold tanks can also be Promoted which enhances their stats, unlock more equipment slots, gain access to better Armament and also unlock the higher Level Cap (all tanks start with a level 60 level cap). You can even raise that Level Cap to 99 for tanks of each rarity with the “Fate” Function. However, this will take a lot of time untill you unlock this, so if you start the game, don’t bother with it.
It should go without saying that rarer tanks drop with a lower chance than more common tanks. In other news, people die when they’re killed. However, there is a difference in the chances you’ll get a certain tank that depend on the method on how you’re getting them
Drops from Storymissions will mostly give you Blue and purple tanks at the beginning. However, do not expect a KanColle-like experience where you get a new ship after every successful fight. Tank drops are actually quite rare and you will probably rage at how the Storymissions just doesn’t give you that purple tank you want. However if you want a Gold Tanks, please do not rely on Storydrops. According to most people the droprate of Golden Tanks in Storymissions is pretty much Zero so you’ll be better of concentrating on other ways of getting golden tanks.
The Forge works simple. Give the Forge G-Iron and it will give you something from that. This can reach from Equipment to Tanks. The Forge gives you quite a lot of tanks at the beginning, sometimes giving you a lot of purple ones at the beginning of the game, unless you have about as much luck as me… However, keep in mind that not every tank can drop through the Forge, if you go the R&D page of the game and tap on the individual tank, you can also see if it can drop through Story or the Forge.
BWMG Depot is unlocked at a rather late time (I’m currently at Level 49 and don’t have it yet). It is awfully similar to the primary way of getting new ships in Kantai Collection. You stuff in ressources, wait for some time and hope something good comes out. The game itself recommends that you go into it with formulas instead of giving in random ressources, but even then the Droprate of especially Golden Tanks is disastrously low. However….
Research & Development exists and it is one of the reasons why I have a better time enjoying Panzer Waltz than with Kantai Collection. You can get each and every tank through R&D with a chance of 100%. In most cases, the tank requires other tanks to be on a certain level, and of course some materials, which you can gather through the Forge or through Missions, as well as Silver.
Golden tanks which you can unlock much later in the game for R&D, like the IS-2m and the Tiger II Henschel, need a lot of materials and have very high requirements. But it is already worth knowing, that the investment will definitely give you the tank you’re aiming for and it motivates me a lot, to go for the tank I want. However, Leveling your tanks can be quite a hassle, you have to assign them to a squad and let them fight… or do you really need to?
The answer to that is “not necessarily”! There is a very simple way of getting your tanks to a higher level quickly:
Giving your Maiden some food will let her gain combat experience!…Don’t ask me how that works, I have no idea. But yeah, at the level I am, it is pretty much no problem to get a tank from Level 1 to Level 30 within a single day and this does not event include an Event Mission called “Issues” which gives some food with massive amount of XP inside of them. However, things slow down at around Lvl 60 and also get pretty damn expensive (Quick Leveling also costs Silver), getting your tanks to Level 75 requires quite some work, and I don’t even want to mention getting them to Level 90 or higher.
With that, you don’t need to grind your tank to get her into your primary squad. Ok, Letting her into the one or another mission in a secondary squad will save some Money and some Rations, but unlike in Kantai Collection for example, you don’t need to completely rely on Grinding your Tank to a certain level. This is great and makes things a lot less frustrating, especially when you get that one Tank you desired so much but see, that you may want to Level her up a bit before you let her into that Lvl 50 Elite Primary Squad you currently have. That is, if you want her to be in the Primary Squad or in Combat in general.
You will encounter moments in which you level a tank for the sole purpose of getting another one, but you have no real use for her in combat. In that case, you can use her like food and let another tank consume her (Vore Fetishists will love this) OR
Lifestyle Missions are available through the Service Station and are an effective way to use combat inactive tanks! Getting them through those Mission will gain you lots of resources. With that, even tanks who you only have for the purpose of getting another tank still have their use, and it is a great way to not let them rust away in the corner. The Developer put in some thoughts into this game, and you can clearly see that.
Your Base and Ressources
And since we’ve been at the Service Station, let’s take a quick look at your base.
Let’s make this quick, From left to right:
- Service Station provides G-Milk as well as the Lifestyle Missions, G-Milk is needed to quickly regenerate your tanks Stamina, which is used by going on Missions (the Stamina gets drained even more when the tank is getting heavily damaged or disabled).
- BWMG Depot See “How the Get New Tanks”
- Port is basically a market where you can buy several things, from Equipment, over ressources to even some tanks.
- Headquarters, your main base, often required to be on a certain level to further upgrade other buildings and to advance through the story. Can also store some Silver
- Silver Vault is where Silver, your main ressource in this game, gets stored. Upgrading it increases the amount of Silver you can have.
- Silver Mine is where Silver gets mined, by tapping on it, you can gain the Silver it has earned over time. You earn more Silver by going through Clashes though!
- Iron Mine mines G-Iron which you can invest in the Forge, works similar to the Silver Mine
Ressources like “Codon” which you need to research Tech for your tanks, can be obtained through either Story missions or occupying territories with your defensive squad, if the territory has Codon available you will automatically farm those there. Earning this Codon is similar how you earn Silver from the Silver Mine.
With all this, I should have given you a good idea on how this game works. I surely hope I got you interested!
My Personal Opinion on Panzer Waltz
Now, x-thousand words wrote, I’m looking at the screen and realize that I forgot the main reason why I wanted to write this post. I wanted to give my personal opinion on this. I gave some bits of it during the upper parts, but it could very well be that you’ve already forgot them, so I decided to make an extra section for this.
If you couldn’t already have guessed it, I got quite invested into this game. I remember the first 10 days having almost an addiction to it, opening and playing in whenever I saw the possibility. After this, I kind of realized something important. This is more of a browser game, while the fights are rather quickly, things like upgrading, researching etc. can take days to complete.
However, this gives the opportunity to think in the long term, and this is also a great aspect of Panzer Waltz: Management. I currently look into PW twice a day, always trying to have as many Lifestyle Missions as possible running, deciding on which squad to use when looking for certain materials, and managing my ressources to use my tanks as efficiently as possible.
This factor also is part of why the Combat is pretty great. While not active, you can still watch a battle, see your forces obliterate the enemy, then lean back, knowing that everything went according to plan and if not, a quick look into the Statistic and your Tanks Stats as well as the enemy Squad can already explain most the reasons why it did not went like you were expecting it.You can see how this battle ends and can also understand why and this is what makes it great in my opinion.
I’m getting more and more motivated to get better tanks, getting better equipment and refine the roles of my tanks. This can go so far, that I have moments where I sit 1 hour on the screen, thinking about what Equipment I should certain tanks for maximum efficiency.
The best thing about Panzer Waltz is that all this mentioned above PAYS OFF. You gain ranks when using your squad right in PvP and more ressources, you progress through Events and Story by having good, well equipped, tanks. You see the difference, and it motivates me so much, that I will still spend a lot of time with this game.
Now, if I had to complain about something it would be that the game is not finished. More than necessary you will find tanks which have a “Placeholder” tank as their Metal Maiden, which is kind of annoying. After the last update, this has been reduced, but is not entirely gone.
However, it is here to note, that the game originates from China, and there is still translation to be done, this also explains why there is a summer event happening now in September.
Now, one more thing before we head to the conclusion. This game is free, so there are things like Microtransactions in the game, however they don’t give a gamebreaking advantage. Especially for the tanks, none of the resources needed to Develop a tank can be directly bought with real money, there is also no exclusive equipment for people who invest real money into this game.
TL;DR. I like this game a lot, and would like to see it grow more in the future! It has a surprising amount of depth and is definitely worth checking out. . . Also, people interested in anime girls as well as the concept of Moe Antropomorphism will get quite a lot to see! You can check it out at Google Playstore, as mentioned, this game is free and does not have Pay To Win!
Now, to finally get a closure on all this, there are some parts in the game I have still not explained. I could talk about so much more, but this unfortunately this is about as big as I want to make the blogpost (4506 words). However, there is one thing I will definetely still talk about in a separate blogpost, it is about one of the most stand-out things about Panzer Waltz: the Visual Designs of the tanks and the idea of Moe Antrophomorphism in general will come up next, look forward to that! With that, you reached the end of this post.